Meet the Team

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The Psychology Department consists of a large team of Paediatric Psychologists.

Dr Gillian Fortune
Head of Psychology & Principal Clinical Neuropsychologist
Dr Gillian Fortune provides a specialist Paediatric Clinical Neuropsychology service for neuropsychological assessment and neuro-psychotherapeutic intervention.  Dr Fortune has completed the highest level of Paediatric Neuropsychology training available internationally. She has particular expertise in the treatment of non-epileptic seizures and post-traumatic stress disorder and the application of cognitive behaviour therapy to a wide range of symptoms in the context of neurological disorder in children and adolescents. In her role as Head of Psychology for OLCHC, Dr Fortune provides leadership, management, service planning and development along with the day to day running of a busy Paediatric Psychology department. She also provides clinical supervision for staff and specialist clinical supervision in Paediatric Neuropsychology. She is involved in a number of ongoing research projects.

Ms Becca Tomney
Psychology Administrator
Becca is the first point of call for all department queries. An essential part of Becca's role is to ensure the quality, maintenance and control of all inpatient and outpatient records. Becca provides administrative support to all department staff. 

Dr Chiara Besani
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Dr Chiara Besani is a Senior Clinical Psychologist working in St John’s Ward in the Oncology and Haematology Departments. She is a member of the psycho-oncology group within SIOP (International Society of Paediatric Oncology) and has a commitment to continue to develop the psychological care and treatment of children with cancer and their families.  Dr Besani has experience working with children, teenagers and young adults with cancer.  She is passionate about systemic family therapy and group therapy with children and adolescents and wishes to integrate a systemic and group approach in the Haematology and Oncology department.

Vincent Mc Darby 
Senior Clinical Health Psychologist
Mr Vincent McDarby is a Senior Clinical Health Psychologist working in the Diabetes service. Mr McDarby works closely with the Diabetes medical team to help children and adolescents cope with the emotional impact of their Diabetes and improve their daily management of this chronic condition. Mr McDarby is also extensively involved in ongoing research in the hospital.

Dr Yvonne Duane 
Principal Clinical Psychologist
Dr Yvonne Duane is a Principal Clinical Psychologist specialising in the area of Benign Haematology and works mostly with children and their families who have chronic disorders of the blood including haemophilia, von willebrands disease, sickle cell disease and thalassaemia. Dr Duane has a number of special interests including, anxiety, coping with chronic health issues, medical traumatic stress and procedural distress.  She is also very interested in supporting the transition from paediatric to adult services for teenagers with chronic health conditions.  With her medical team Dr Duane has been involved in the development of psycho-education transition programmes for young people with sickle cell disease. Dr Duane provides supervision to senior colleagues and trainees within the hospital. She has a strong interest in research and is involved in a number of ongoing research projects.   

Dr Elizabeth Nolan
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Dr Elizabeth Nolan works as a Senior Clinical Psychologist on the Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition team. Since commencing her post in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Dr Nolan has specialised in working with young people with inflammatory bowel disease and liver disorders. Recently, Dr Nolan completed a research Doctorate on the “Psychological Impact of Paediatric Liver Disease” and her main interests are in helping young people live well with chronic illness.

Dr Stephanie Hardcastle
Senior Clinical Psychologist 
Dr Stephanie Hardcastle is a Senior Clinical Psychologist working in the area of Infectious Diseases along with Neonatology and Neuro-oncology. Dr Hardcastle works with children and families from birth to adolescence. She is also involved in ongoing research in the hospital. 

Dr Sarah Carroll
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Dr Sarah Carroll is a Senior Clinical Psychologist working with the Cystic Fibrosis team, supporting children and families affected by CF.  Dr Carroll’s primary role is to provide understanding and emotional support in relation to the potential challenges CF can pose at every stage of child and family development from diagnosis at birth, to transition to adult services.  Dr Carroll also has a keen interest in working at a multidisciplinary level to help families improve their adherence to the challenging treatment regimens involved in managing CF, with a view to minimising inpatient treatment and improving long term health.

Catherine Matthews
Principal Clinical Psychologist
Catherine Matthews is a Principal Clinical Psychologist working in Cardiology. Ms Matthews works with young people with a cardiac condition and their families in optimizing their physical and emotional health. She is available to consult with families and individuals from infancy to adolescence. Given the frequent need for surgical or catheter interventions in cardiology she is passionate about working systemically with the wider cardiac team and families to optimise coping and to minimise medical trauma in a preventative manner.  She is also committed to working collaboratively with individuals and families and she draws from a range of therapeutic skills to facilitate the best personal match for a positive outcome including; Systemic Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Relaxation Training, Narrative Therapy and Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  She enjoys working in an integrated way with the cardiac team and provides staff training and support to the group.   

Elisabetta Palombella
Counselling Psychologist
Ms Elisabetta Palombella is a Counselling Psychologist and works mainly with the Rheumatology Department where she provides psychological support and intervention to children with chronic and acute illnesses and to those who present with medically unexplained symptoms. Elisabetta is currently carrying out qualitative research in conjunction with OLCHC based on the experience of parents regarding their children's transition from paediatric to adult rheumatology services. This research will be a comparative study involving the comparison of parent and child anxiety.   

Dr Bronagh Kennedy
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Bronagh Kennedy is a Senior Clinical Psychologist working mainly with Dermatology and is in the process of developing a psychological service for children who are coping with chronic and severe skin conditions and burns.

Dr Sabina Christensen
Senior Clinical Psychologist 
Dr Sabina Christensen is a Senior Clinical Psychologist working with children and their families on the cardiology team. Dr Christensen is passionate about trying to make the time in the hospital as easy and stress free as possible for children and families. 

Dr Adele Keating
Senior Clinical Psychologist 
Dr Adele Keating is a Senior Clinical Psychologist working in the Endocrine service and Nephrology. Dr Keating works with children and families from birth to adolescence. She is also involved in ongoing research in the hospital.